Credit: Joseph Hill/nebedaay on Flickr, under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).
More than 5,000 people signed up on July 1 for a "Stand With Texas Women" demonstration on the Capitol steps in Austin, Texas, as Republican lawmakers revived an anti-abortion measure thwarted last week, Democracy Now reported. Texas Gov. Rick Perry convened a second special legislative session after State Sen. Wendy Davis and a "people's filibuster" stopped a bill that would close most of the state's abortion clinics and ban abortions after 20 weeks.
One hallmark of the massive protest was the number of men who joined the rally for women's rights, some even driving from as far as Houston and Dallas to attend, Think Progress reported. Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, remarked to Think Progress that their presence showed "these are not just women's issues, they're family issues."
Against this backdrop, Davis responded to Perry on the abortion debate by saying on CBS News' "Face the Nation" that his insinuation was "a terrible personal thing to say." Perry said after the filibuster that Davis should remember that her own mother chose not to abort her. "Politicians are using this issue to boost their own political aspirations, their own political positions -- and they're bulling women and their liberties, their personal constitutionally-guaranteed liberties, in the process," Davis said as she commented on the bill that is trying to be passed in Texas.
Texas Republicans voted early July 3 to move forward with new abortion restrictions, after limiting testimony at a public hearing, refusing to consider Democratic amendments and imposing strict security precautions to prevent disruptions from protesting abortion-rights supporters, the Associated Press reported. On a party-line vote, the Republican majority sent the bill to the full Texas House for a vote next week.
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France introduced a "men-women equality" law, The Telegraph reported July 3. The bill proposes to mandate men's usage of parental leave, reserve 40 percent of private board positions for women and supply an equal number of male and female candidates for public positions.
Authorities in Mexico City rescued 46 women in a human trafficking bust, CNN reported July 2. The women rescued included 27 Mexicans and 19 foreigners. Forty people were detained after a police raid and 14 of them face charges of human trafficking for sexual exploitation.
A Swedish female tourist was released by an Istanbul court after being held under arrest for two days on charges of insulting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and other state officials during protests in Istanbul's Taksim Square June 29. Sarah Olsson was protesting the deadly police intervention in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır's Lice district, reported the Hurriyet Daily July 1.
A long-sought rape suspect, a police chief known by the initials N.Ş., who was allegedly involved in the gang rape of a 14-year-old girl in northwestern Turkey, has been captured in Bosnia and Herzegovina, reported Today's Zaman June 30. Thirty-four men and boys, including two police officers and 32 high school students, are accused of sexually assaulting the victim in June of last year.
New Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd unveiled his cabinet, bringing in a record number of women, Al Jazeera reported June 30. The number of women in the cabinet climbs from nine under former-Prime Minister Julia Gillard to 11.
A new wave of sexual assaults in Egypt by groups of men targeting women has been reported during anti-government protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square, with nearly 100 women attacked since June 28, Human Rights Watch reported July 3. One woman required surgery after being raped with a "sharp object" while other women were beaten with metal chains, sticks and chairs and attacked with knives.
A Dutch female reporter was also gang raped. No details have been released on the attack, but the reports said she was believed to be an intern with an Egyptian organization and had gone to the square to take photos of the demonstrations.
The massive protests resulted in the ousting of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi by the military on July 3. Read more in the Women's eNews story, "Female Protestors Assaulted in Egypt's Turmoil."
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North Carolina legislators introduced an anti-abortion bundle known as HB 695, the Family, Faith and Freedom Protection Act, RH Reality Check reported July 3. The bill, which was originally introduced to restrict Islamic laws, has been amended to ban insurance for abortions in the state health exchange, requires the presence of physicians for medical and surgical abortions and demands abortion facilities meet ambulatory standards, which would leave only one clinic in a state with 100 counties.
Syrian rebels have issued a ban on women using makeup or wearing "immodest dress" in a neighborhood in the city of Aleppo, RT News reported July 2. The fatwa (an order based on Sharia, Islamic law) was issued by the Islamic law council in Aleppo's Fardous neighborhood and published on the council's Facebook page.
More women die from drug overdoses than from cervical cancer or car accidents in the United States, an analysis of federal data released July 2 shows, The New York Times reported. Fatal overdoses from prescription pain pills increased five-fold among women from 1999 to 2010.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed the state budget bill, widely affecting women who will lose access to low-cost family planning services, to public hospitals during a health emergency and their right to privacy, The Huffington Post reported July 1. The budget also includes several controversial anti-abortion measures, including one that will force any woman seeking an abortion to undergo a trans-abdominal ultrasound. The budget puts Planned Parenthood last on the list of family-planning dollars, which essentially cuts off $1.4 million in federal funding. In addition, the newly signed budget puts rape crisis clinics in jeopardy.
Charges for delivery in the United States have about tripled since 1996, according to an analysis done for The New York Times by Truven Health Analytics, The Boston Globe reported July 1. From 2004 to 2010, the prices that insurers paid for childbirth rose 49 percent for vaginal births and 41 percent for Caesarean sections in the United States, with average out-of-pocket costs rising four-fold, according to a recent report by Truven that was commissioned by three health care groups.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç emphasized the importance of marriage for society, even at early ages, in weekend speeches in two cities. Unlike Prime Minister Erdoğan, Arınç refrained from giving specific advice as to the number of children couples should have, the Hurriyet Daily reported July 1. Erdoğan often calls on Turkish families to have at least three children.
Women are bearing the brunt of the British government's austerity drive in the public sector, according to figures showing that twice as many women as men have lost jobs in local government since 2010, The Guardian reported July 1. The female headcount in local government has plunged by 253,600 to 1.43 million since the coalition came to power in 2010.
Fifty-seven women, including journalists, artists, academics and politicians who don't wear headscarves, created a petition calling for the complete freedom to wear a headscarf in Turkey. Immediately after it was posted online, the petition received more than 2,000 signatures, reported Today's Zaman July 2.
Women who work long-term night-shift jobs -- including nurses, cleaners, care workers and call-center handlers – are twice as likely to develop breast cancer as those who do normal hours, research suggests, The Independent reported July 1.
The Indian airline GoAir plans to hire only female flight attendants in a bid to cut down on in-flight fuel costs in comparison to "heavier" men, the New York Daily News reported June 30. The measure will only target flight attendants and not female pilots.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter says religious leaders, including those in Christianity and Islam, share the blame for mistreatment of women across the world, the Huffington Post reported June 28. The human rights activist said religious authorities perpetuate misguided doctrines of male superiority, from the Catholic Church forbidding women from becoming priests to some African cultures mutilating the genitals of girls and female teens.
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